Mum praised for openness with her kids after five-year-old son draws a portrait of her on her period

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  • A mum has been praised for her openness with her children after her five-year-old son ‘sensibly’ handled the topic of her period – by drawing a picture of it.

    Penny Rohleder, from New South Wales, shared the picture her son had drawn of her on Facebook, showing a mysterious red mark on her body.

    ‘Julian drew a family portrait (forgot [sisters] Mayanna and Arlyn) but I said to him “what’s that red thing on me?” He said “that’s your period”,’ she wrote in her original post.

    The picture was then shared by popular mummy blogger Constance Hall, who has over a million followers, and it then began to go viral.

    ‘I don’t know whether to be proud or embarrassed that my five year old son knows this…’, Penny wrote to Constance as she brought the post to her attention.

    Speaking to the Metro, Penny said of the picture: ‘When I first saw the drawing and realised that it included my period, I was in hysterics. It was such an innocent, honest thing for a young child to come out with.’

    ‘I shared it because it was funny, but I was also proud that my 5 year old knows what a period is, when some fully grown men do not. It’s such a taboo subject for many adults, especially men. Women too, are embarrassed about their bodies and I have absolutely no idea why.’

    She stressed the importance of teaching young people basic biology – particularly that of the opposite sex – arguing against the idea that she should be embarrassed that her son knew about her menstrual cycle.

    ‘If that’s the case, then we should be giving women a week off work every month, because I hate to break it to some of these people, but women bleed every month. That woman sitting next to you on the train? She’s having a period this month.’

    ‘She might even have it now. It’s not an “unsafe” topic, it’s a normal bodily function that women shouldn’t be made to feel embarrassed about. In saying that, I’m not one of the women who openly shout “I HAVE MY PERIOD” every month, but when a child knows that their mother gets her period occasionally, that’s not a cause for uproar or concern that I’m too open with my kids.’

    Since Constance highlighted the drawing to her followers, the post has gained over 2.5k comments, with many praising Penny for her open approach.

    ‘I think it’s great. I think female health is so taboo and it needs to be normalised,’ one wrote. ‘I’m tired of discovering how many men are scared to utter the word “tampon”.’

    The picture has also generated a hilarious competition to see who has the most mortifying anecdote, with hundreds of other mums sharing their own experiences with their kids.

    ‘Recently I explained to my 9 year old what a period is when he found some tampons in my bag, told him those times I get really grumpy and eat lots of chocolate, that’s when you know I’ve got it!’ wrote one commenter. ‘He said “so you have it all the time then…”!’

    Another said: ‘When I was in the supermarket with my then 2 year old, he was getting in to my bag and pulled out a tampon… I said “oh no baby that’s mummy’s tampon. It’s not to play with…”. He then proceeded to yell at the top of his voice like a crazy banshee while crying hysterically “I want the TAMPON!!! It’s MY TAMPON!!”.’